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Old 09-15-2009, 12:35 PM   #1
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When is the time to remove the old faded peeling varnish and ....... ???
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Old 09-15-2009, 01:00 PM   #2
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I use Owatrol.

It is a Norwegian producet which, I suspect, is based on linceed oil but I may well be wrong there. Anyway, it dries to a hard gloss but not as hard as varnish. It does not crack and has good penetrating abilities. Also, being oil based, it prodects the wood from the inside.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:25 PM   #3
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If it's peeling, it's really time to mask of the section, scrape back the peeling part and re-varnish. It should not get to the point of peeling before maintenance happens While it's still looking lovely, maintenance coats should be going onto exterior varnish, like clockwork. I'm told by very experienced folks with lots of brightwork (and professionals who do it for a living) that in the tropics you need to set a schedule and put a coat or two on every 6 to 8 weeks, religiously. When in higher latitudes, once at the beginning of the season and once at the end will usually do a great job of maintaining a good varnish job. The "good varnish job" has about 8 to 12 coats on it before "maintenance" can start.

I'm still getting build coats onto several things, but our caprails and covering boards have been on "maintenace" for a year now and sunny San Diego has me doing this every 8 weeks. The only real problems I have is that I've got a hard interface between chainplates and varnish where the chainplates penetrate the covering boards thus there is cracking of the varnish just recently. I will be putting a 3/8" perimeter of Tremco sealant (a flexible sealant) around each chainplate to fix this little problem.

If you try to isolate the varnish from hard things that don't expand/contract with the wood--like chainplates, fasteners, etc, and if you keep up with a maintenance schedule for your part of the world, you should be able to keep a good quality varnish on your brightwork without stripping for anything from 6 years to 12 years. The maintenance coats are key--as is the process of inspecting the varnish and dealing with small scratches or hard spots (over a fastener, for example) as soon as they become a problem.

N--That product seems similar to Le Tonkinois. We use classic Le Tonkinois for the bright finished edges of cockpit seats and anywhere else that abrasion or foot traffic will be heavy (one of the interior companionway ladders is finished with this as it is also a little less slick than varnish). One might wish to use this version of Le Tonkinois but I haven't tried it.

The product is not as long lasting as varnish--it must be touched up more often but is much easier to add coats and less finicky about temperature, sun/shade/moisture etc. It is not as clear as varnish though. Because we have both varnish and Le Tonkinois on mahogany on the exterior of the boat, we can see the small differences between the two.

95% of what we've got in the way of trim is varnished--on teak, fir, and mahogany. Works fine and is hard to get all those initial coats on but is easy to keep up once you've done so. The rest is Le Tonkinois or painted. If you choose to paint, lay on a couple coats of vanish first so that you can take the wood back to bright easily at some later point.

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Old 09-15-2009, 11:25 PM   #4
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No brightwork for me... I Semco my teak and if I didn't Semco I'd either be rid of the wood or paint it... varnish is for indoors in my book.... although it does admittadly look nice if kept up.
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:34 AM   #5
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No brightwork for me... I Semco my teak and if I didn't Semco I'd either be rid of the wood or paint it... varnish is for indoors in my book.... although it does admittadly look nice if kept up.
Yea, well funny thing about teak in particular--it is an oily wood that is very hard to keep varnish on compared to other woods used in similar ways. I immediately painted (without varnish under it) 90% of the teak on the exterior. The remaining bits had reason to be bright OR just were sealed with Woodlife and left to turn silver. Most of our real brightwork is Mahogany (the new stuff) or Oregon Pin aka Douglas Fir (the old stuff) and both woods take varnish very nicely.

Teak really doesn't make a good exterior decorative wood, IMHO. It's too soft, when sanded it disappears pretty fast! has all that oil making taking a finish hard. It is functional in terms of resisting rot in a marine environment--but that's really about all it has going for it.

I've heard that the reason there's so much of it onboard boats (besides use as a deck) is that production boat builders found it easy to mill and make things from and it looks great just RAW for about a year--so you can take the boat to the boat show, sell it, and then let the new owners deal with keeping it looking good in the future.
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:26 AM   #6
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An Alternative to Varnish and 2 Part Polyurethane is a product called CUPRINOL made by ICI

It is excellent on all outside wood - also works in the saloon - because its water proof and so easy to apply (with a pad) I had it on, caprails, gunwhale and cockpit table plus the teak grate under the anchor -- 2/3 summers no problems

In Europe it is probably the most commonly used product for the protection of wooden windows and floor decking.

see WEBSITE
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:42 AM   #7
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I love the teak on the outside of my boat, and I can't say enough how well just teak oil has it looking. It was neglected for 15 yrs exposed to all the extreme elements.



I plan on adding as much outer teak I can find. I like the classic look it gives any boat.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:14 PM   #8
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Bought a '78 DownEaster 38 cutter (which has the look of an old time boat) but the teak cap-rail was also the rub-rail (with no stainless trim) and badly split.

Removed and replaced it with Trex - www.trex.com - my answer to teak as I prefer sailing to sanding and varnishing.
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Old 09-16-2009, 05:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
An Alternative to Varnish and 2 Part Polyurethane is a product called CUPRINOL made by ICI

It is excellent on all outside wood - also works in the saloon - because its water proof and so easy to apply (with a pad) I had it on, caprails, gunwhale and cockpit table plus the teak grate under the anchor -- 2/3 summers no problems

In Europe it is probably the most commonly used product for the protection of wooden windows and floor decking.

see WEBSITE
Seems that one may be similar to Woodlife Classic by Wolman. We use it for grates, swim platform, anywhere we want the wood to be "natural" but not to age too quickly. The nice thing is that the product is waterbased--so easy clean up too. It's just a good wood sealant that is pretty much invisible.
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